Spring has sprung! Loving all the daffodils and tulips out, and my snowdrops in the garden look lovely. A city break to Lisbon was planned to break up the cold weather and get some some rays on my skin. Lisbon is very hilly and therefore lots of walking, taking in cultural sites and sampling the most wonderful seafood and Portuguese wines. Towards the end of March, I planned a dinner party for my friends with peppered mackerel pate with capers and one of my favourite recipes, Nigel Slater’s roasted duck. https://realfoodfans.wordpress.com/2015/01/13/nigel-slaters-roast-duck-with-potatoes-and-pancetta/
Not wanting to waste any foods, I had a delicious looking chocolate panetonne to use and hence made a bread and butter pudding. All a bit indulgent but great company, chats and the wine was flowing! And to finish off the month, a long walk followed by lunch at The Anglesea Arms nearby for Mother’s Day. http://www.angleseaarmspub.co.uk
More KitchenJoy Vouchers being validated which resulted in Boost your Brain Power Course and Eating Vegan cookery classes.
NOTHS (Not on the High Street) launched a new partners day, which was very informative, giving us stats on more established partners sales to date and how we can promote our own courses on their site supported by their marketing and admin team. It was interesting to hear that only 2% of applicants are successful, so I feel very honoured and privileged. You can check me out on their site here:
My friend Anna, a professional photographer came over to KitchenJoy to take a few up-to-date snaps of myself and my daughter for the website, with some action shots of me in the kitchen and by the live herb wall. It was a fun and productive day and I have already loaded new photos onto the website.
And last but not least, I did my stint on the panel at International Women’s Day at Wedlake Bell law firm in the city. I brought along my vegan raspberry, lemon & oat muffins, gluten-free goat’s cheese, chocolate chip & sea salt muffins + date and matcha tea energy balls. The panel chair asked us various questions on how we set up our business, the drawbacks, plus points and any challenging moments. How we have found being a female in the work place and if this has inhibited moving forward in our business in any way. There were about 100 clients invited and finally there was Q&A open to the floor. I hope I was inspiring to anyone who wanted to transition from a Corporate world to running their own business to discussing female empowerment. It was also great for networking as I met many other corporate companies and individuals who wanted to book tasting demo’s and cookery classes.
With more Vegan Courses booked in March and further bookings into April, the home made seitan is proving to be a success! I changed the dessert for the March courses, as I feel sometimes vegan desserts are top heavy on sugar which we are trying to reduce. Following on from the theme of Mongolian “beef” seitan, I decided to make a more Asian dessert to complement the main. It was Mango & brown rice pudding, poached in coconut milk and pureed mango stirred through - a great hit!
On the brain power course, I like to serve salmon if we have no vegetarians attending, to boost our Omega 3 intake, with a tasty oat, lemon zest & dill topping. Oats can improve cognitive performance and improve mental health and act as fuel to the brain and satisfy hunger, reducing the chance of a mid-day crash.
Zesty Oat Topped Salmon Fillets with rainbow carrots
2 salmon fillets
1 tbsp olive oil (and extra for salmon fillets)
1 heaped tbsp of rolled oats
1 tbsp of ground almonds
1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
Finely grated zest & juice of 1 lemon
150g rainbow carrots
1 tbsp of chopped fresh rosemary
Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 220c. Place carrots in a large bowl. Add the oil, rosemary, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Lay the carrot on a lined flat baking tray and roast for 25 minutes, turning halfway through. Remove from the oven and place the salmon fillets on the tray. Lightly brush the top of each salmon fillet with olive oil.
Mix the oats, almonds, dill and lemon zest. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the salmon fillets and pat down lightly to give a good coating. Drizzle the lemon juice over.
Reduce the heat to 180c and bake the salmon and vegetables for approximately 15 minutes until the crust is golden and the salmon is cooked through.